The Reminiscence Centre
Tony Aldous takes a look at a replica 1930s store in Blackheath Village, south London.
In the heart of Blackheath Village in south-east London is a shop with a very authentic looking Victorian shop front bearing the name The Reminiscence Centre. If you enter and climb a few steps you come to what looks like the counter of a 1930s or early 1940s grocery and general store, with Brown & Polson Patent Conflour, Maconochie's Tomato Ketchup (price 1s 7d, or just under 8p), and such Second World War delicacies as Ministry of Food National Dried Milk and Dried Egg. Somebody's ration book is propped on a shelf behind the counter.
But this is not just another little museum catering for the booming nostalgia market, nor even simply an aid to the study of local history. The Reminiscence Centre – run by the charity Age Exchange – has a more direct social purpose, as eighty year old Gladys Eagle standing behind the counter, soon makes clear.